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Thread: Question about Open Carry Problem

  1. #1
    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    Problem is over. No action was taken against me. Thanks for the support, guys. I used another handgun forum and I wasn't met with as warm of a welcome. (I was actually scolded for open carrying and trying to explain why I open carry.)


    Hey guys, I've been a big fan of this site for a while and I am finally in need of some advice from you guys.

    Ok, So I am in quite a bind.

    I try to carry anytime that I am not working since I had always thought that they'd just have a problem with me carrying and working with the public. Well, I went to go shopping there and since I was not working, I was carrying. Now, I do open carry, so it is noticeable that I have a firearm. I was almost done shopping, had been shopping for a good 20 minutes, when the Loss Prevention officer confronted me and informed me that I could not carry a fire arm there. I let him know that I didn't know since it was posted and I left.

    Here's the problem. An hour ago, I was called by my boss who has been told by Human Resources to inform me that I am now on a 2 day suspension pending a Loss Prevention Investigation. I contacted HR, but they said that there's nothing that I could do because in the handbook it says that I am not to have a firearm. In the handbook it says in the back under examples of fire-able offenses,

    "10. Possession of any of the following on --------------- Property:
    a. Alcohol,
    b. Narcotics, illegal drugs, and/ or
    c. Firearms or dangerous weapons."


    Now, since it does not mention On The Clock or Off The Clock, does this mean anytime or could I argue that since I was a customer at the time that I am exempt from that rule? I am really freaking out. I do have bills and I cannot afford to lose my job...


    Please help if you can.

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    Sounds like a potential [Unnamed place where I used to work] scandal. If you were off the clock and shopping, I see no problem. The law would see no problem either but the business is always watching, trying to find something to use for ammo.

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    Well yes they can fire you, Washington is not a rite towork statethey do not have to inploy anybody thay they see unfit, They can fire you for having your shirt untucked, and anything else they see fit, but they cannot fire your for sex, race, age and or creed. I suggest that you try to contact your boss and see how much a$$ kissing you can do. In these times you need any job you have! Good luck

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    I would kindly leave that job. And find one that isnt full of liberal ******-bags.



    -just saying.





    But no.. real talk?.. yes they can fire you for it. If they do, it's pretty weak of them But stranger things have been known to happen.



    I watched a guy get fired from my previous job for having a pocket knife. then they took him to court for having a weapon on their property. Now he isnt allowed to be on the premisis.

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    That is a tough bind. Unfortunately, regardless of whether or not the employee handbook is applicable while off the clock or not, Washington is an employment at will state. Therefore they could let you go based on any reason, so long as it's not a protected class (ie. race, sex, religion, etc).

    Firearms are not a protected class... yet. Can't remember the court case (someone please fill in the blank here), but it is currently being decided on in the 9th district courts to add firearms as a protected class.

    I would recommend, just from my experience, that you have a sit down discussion with your boss, or even higher up; and discuss the situation. Explain that you were off the clock and did not think the handbook applied, that you acted in reasonable faith that since you were a customer, you were allowed to carry, etc., etc..

    I had a similar situation at my work. Our handbook absolutely forbid possession on company property, so I parked my truck across the street and locked my pistol in a lockbox inside my vehicle. Eventually I started getting questions from coworkers about why I parked across the street and I didn't exactly want to answer them. So I went and spoke with the owner of the company, explained my situation and he was pretty reasonable about it. He finally relented and allowed me to park with my pistol in the parking lot so long as it was locked in the lockbox and nobody else at the company knew it was there.

    Just stick with it, hopefully you will be able to talk some sense into them. But unfortunately, yes, they could fire you over this.
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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    In a word, yes, your screwed if they choose to follow through with termination on this issue.

    If their employee policy does not specify, in any way, that the carry of firearms is prohibited/allowed by employees on, and oroff the clock, then they can pretty much interpret it any way they choose.

    Most reasonable peoplewouldargue that the employeepolicy would be "implied" to meanon the clock, but you would be hard pressed to argue that position unless you wanted to pursue it in court, assuming you had the money, and wanted to continue to work there even if you won.

    Does the store have a firearms policy for its customers?

    If it does, you are doomed either way if they REALLY want to fire you over this.

    If not, you best bet is to throw yourself on their mercy and plead ignorance of how the employee policy was intended tobeapplied.

    If they do fire you over this, make sure to let us know the policy, as we need to add them to a database of no patronage.

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    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    My boss loves and and sees me as one of the best workers, the only problem is that HR is handling it and they're higher than she is.


    It sounds like I'm as screwed as I thought that I was. I guess the best I can do is start asking managers and supervisors for letters of recommendation.

    At least there was a lesson in this, read every little word in any contract that you sign in to because even that on little sentence at the very end can come back to haunt you.




    There is no customer policy on firearms and the only reason I was given when I was asked to leave was that they don't allow firearms because there are children present. They have no postings on the subject anywhere.

    I already don't want to shop there, even if I'm not fired and I really don't want to work there, either. I'll definitely let you all know how it ends. HR said that since it was just a 2 day suspension that I should hear the outcome tomorrow. They already know I carried and I admitted it, so all they're doing is figuring out a way to handle it.


    *Edit*
    The thing that is still getting me is that when it happened, I was asked why I wasn't concealing by the LP officer and then on the phone with HR I was asked why I wasn't concealing. It's like they are OK with me rule breaking, as long as no one sees it...
    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Psalms 23:4

    "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power." Benjamin Franklin

    “It’s always open season on criminals in Mason County, and there’s no bag limit.” Sen. Tim Sheldon (D)

    Molōn labe!

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    xxx.jakk.xxx wrote:
    My boss loves and and sees me as one of the best workers, the only problem is that HR is handling it and they're higher than she is.
    <snip>
    HR said that since it was just a 2 day suspension that I should hear the outcome tomorrow. They already know I carried and I admitted it, so all they're doing is figuring out a way to handle it.
    You might also make sure that your boss calls and speaks up for you, and ask HR if you can have the opportunity to appear before their decider and answer questions.

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    Do you get a hearing in disciplinary proceedings? If your sense is that they are going to fire you and there's nothing you can do about it, then take advantage of every opportunity to let them have it with both barrels about their stupid policy.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    You should have concealed and then denied you were carrying a concealed weapon. It could have been a belt pouch, a camera case, your walk-man (a bit dated but not everyone has an i-Pod) or even a colostomy bag. That IS one advantage of carrying concealed, especially if it is at the place you work while you are off the clock.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    amlevin wrote:
    You should have concealed and then denied you were carrying a concealed weapon.
    Who says he wasn't concealing another weapon? :?

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    I'd be interested in knowing what company/store (I say store because you said "shop") this happened in, I may have to make an OC venture out of it. I quit my previous job partly because they didn't allow employees to even carry pepper spray, let alone a firearm.

    Guess what I did anyway...
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    xxx.jakk.xxx wrote:
    Hey guys, I've been a big fan of this site for a while and I am finally in need of some advice from you guys.

    Â*Ok, So I am in quite a bind.

    Â*I try to carry anytime that I am not working since I had always thought that they'd just have a problem with me carrying and working with the public. Well, I went to go shopping there and since I was not working, I was carrying. Now, I do open carry, so it is noticeable that I have a firearm. I was almost done shopping, had been shopping for a good 20 minutes, when the Loss Prevention officer confronted me and informed me that I could not carry a fire arm there. I let him know that I didn't know since it was posted and I left.

    Â*Here's the problem. An hour ago, I was called by my boss who has been told by Human Resources to inform me that I am now on a 2 day suspension pending a Loss Prevention Investigation. I contacted HR, but they said that there's nothing that I could do because in the handbook it says that I am not to have a firearm. In the handbook it says in the back under examples of fire-able offenses,

    "10. Possession of any of the following on --------------- Property:
    a. Alcohol,
    b. Narcotics, illegal drugs, and/ or
    c. Firearms or dangerous weapons."

    Â*
    Â*Now, since it does not mention On The Clock or Off The Clock, does this mean anytime or could I argue that since I was a customer at the time that I am exempt from that rule? I am really freaking out. I do have bills and I cannot afford to lose my job...


    Â*Please help if you can.
    They can fire you for any or no reason at all, but if they DO give a reason (Ie, they have a policy) than it has to meet the policy guidelines..

    I had a guy who got FIRED for outright time clock fraud, ended up getting a few K$ from the company because the company failed to follow the proper procedure to terminate him..


    What company do you work for?
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    TechnoWeenie wrote:

    They can fire you for any or no reason at all, but if they DO give a reason (Ie, they have a policy) than it has to meet the policy guidelines..

    I had a guy who got FIRED for outright time clock fraud, ended up getting a few K$ from the company because the company failed to follow the proper procedure to terminate him..


    What company do you work for?
    On this note, assuming this person does get fired and the company does so "for cause" there are some interesting areas to examine. Assume that they fire for the offense of bringing a firearm onto the premises. Is he doing so as an employee or as a customer. If he is not on the clock then he is merely an employee. On that note the company needs to show that they exclude all customers who carry guns or they can't punish this "customer" just because he is an employee of their's. If they have no signs, Strike one!. If they have never done so with another customer, Strike 2. If this person can show that he was singled out because they have a hold over him (the job) then Strike Three for the company and Home Run for the former employee. The company, if they are smart, will merely give him a couple of days off, a stern warning, and then back to work. The only way they can avoid a $h!t$torm from a good attorney (or a bad one may be better)would be to dismiss without cause. Unfortunately, if they have already mentioned the firearm as a basis for the "investigation" then they have already indicated what "cause" they may be considering. That opens the door for a lawsuit.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    I open carried at my previous job when off the clock, I never got crap about it.

    I would think that if you're not on their time, the employee rules don't apply. i.e. no cell phone use. Obviously that only applies while on the clock.

    Theft and the like, however, is different, it's a crime on top of being against policy.
    Quote Originally Posted by SayWhat View Post

    Shooters before hooters.

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    amlevin, can you please explain your legal reasoning a little bit?

    On that note the company needs to show that they exclude all customers who carry guns or they can't punish this "customer" just because he is an employee of their's.
    Why can't they?

    If they have no signs, Strike one!
    Why?

    If they have never done so with another customer, Strike 2.
    Again, why?

    If this person can show that he was singled out because they have a hold over him (the job) then Strike Three for the company and Home Run for the former employee.
    And again, why?

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    Bummer

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    So you can't be fired because of your "creed"?
    Is your creed to go armed, or conversely to never be unarmed when not gainfully employed?
    Because if it is, you should inform your employer of your "creed" and that they may be in a legal bind if they fire you for something that is part of your "creed"

    Note the strong HINT herein......

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    Welcome aboard Jack. I am sorry to hear about your situation. I do hope Your able to get it cleared up.

    My Best Wishes to you.

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    Hammer wrote:
    So you can't be fired because of your "creed"?
    Is your creed to go armed, or conversely to never be unarmed when not gainfully employed?
    Because if it is, you should inform your employer of your "creed" and that they may be in a legal bind if they fire you for something that is part of your "creed"

    Note the strong HINT herein......
    How about Luke 22:36

    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.



  21. #21
    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    Ok, well I just got off work, so I figured I'd let you all know what happened.


    About an hour and a half into, what was supposed to be, my shift, I was called by my boss. She said that I could come in, but I had to clock in and have a small talk with her first. So, I went in, clocked in and sat down in that chair that always makes me so nervous. She let me know that I was being investigated for exactly what I had thought, the gun. She also let me know that of the 3 people who were called together to make the decision, she was the only one on my side. So, because I am a good employee and she likes me, I got to stay without any punishment. I guess you guys were right, sucking up works.

    So yeah, I'm still employed, though I'd love to find a new job, now.



    Since many of you have asked and they didn't actually fire me, I'll let you all know the company. It was Seattle Goodwill. Also, I must add this in because of ANOTHER policy. I am in no way slandering or defaming the Seattle Goodwill corporation.



    Also, in my little chat, my boss mentioned that the PR department would almost certainly start hanging up "No Firearm" signs in the Goodwills, so carrying won't be a good idea, anymore.
    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Psalms 23:4

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that "cooler heads" prevailed.

    Not that I expect you to ask, but do they understand that putting up signs will stop nothing and will only alienate customers?

    Personally, if I see a sign that tells me an establishment is a GFZ (read: victim rich environment), then I normally will just turn around and take my business elsewhere unless I don't have an alternative.

    And frankly? With Goodwill? There are always alternatives. :quirky

    O well. Their loss.

  23. #23
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    So what IS their policy on weapons for non-employees? I've carried in many without issue.

  24. #24
    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    I was told that I could not carry because "This is a family store", but there is no posted or verbal policy for non-employees that I have found.... Yet...
    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Psalms 23:4

    "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power." Benjamin Franklin

    “It’s always open season on criminals in Mason County, and there’s no bag limit.” Sen. Tim Sheldon (D)

    Molōn labe!

  25. #25
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    My company is anti-gun as well. Our hand book is written in a way that anything I do that is company related keeps me from carrying my weapon (company parties, travel for work & more). I can't even lock it in my vehicle in the public garage we lease.

    I'm all for getting a bill passed that would allow employees to lock it in their vehicle with state protection like they do in FL, KY, OK, IN to name a few....

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